The 2018 IAAF World Indoor Tour, a series of the six finest indoor meetings on the planet, kicks off one week from today with the Indoor Meeting Karlsruhe on Saturday 3 February.
Staged over the course of 22 action-packed days, the series includes stops in Düsseldorf, Madrid, Boston and Torun before its conclusion in Glasgow on 25 February, for many athletes the final dress rehearsal for the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 which begin four days later.
Current and former world and Olympic champions Renaud Lavillenie, Thiago Braz da Silva, Tianna Bartoletta and Barbara Pierre are just a few of the stars who’ll help get the series underway in the southwestern German city which provided the setting for Genzebe Dibaba's stunning 3:55.17 world 1500m record run in 2014. The Ethiopian will return on Saturday as well, taking on German middle distance stars Konstanze Klosterhalfen and Gesa Felicitas Krause.
While many athletes have still to be confirmed, the men’s pole vault and women’s high jump look to be heating up, with virtually all of the events’ leading stars already preparing for their appearances on the World Indoor Tour as part of their lead-in to the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018.
Lavillenie and Braz da Silva, the world record-holder and Olympic champion respectively, are expected to cross paths several times with Germany's 2013 world champion Raphael Holzdeppe, Poland's 2011 world champion Pawel Wojciechowski and European indoor champion Piotr Lisek, and 2014 world indoor champion Konstadinos Filippidis of Greece.
In the women's high jump, the spotlight on Saturday will fall on Ukraine's rising star Yulia Levchenko, who soared to world silver in London last summer and home star Marie-Laurence Jungfleisch, a multiple world and Olympic finalist. Later in the tour, the pair will be joined by two-time world champion Maria Lasitskene, who has already topped 2.01m this season, and Poland's Kamila Licwinko, the world bronze medallist.
Disciplines and scoring
The 2018 World Indoor Tour scoring disciplines include the 60m, 800m, 3000m/5000m, shot put, pole vault and triple jump for men, and the 400m, 1500m, 60m hurdles, high jump and long jump for women.
For each IAAF World Indoor Tour meeting, points are allocated to the top four athletes in each tour discipline with 10 points for 1st, seven points for 2nd, five points for third and three points for fourth.
Any athlete who breaks a world record will be awarded three bonus points on top of the points they earned for placing in the top four.
Here’s a little bit more about how the IAAF World Indoor Tour works:
An athlete can participate in as many events as chosen within the meetings listed, but only the best three results count towards their ranking. The winner of the IAAF World Indoor Tour must have competed in at least two meetings.
The individual overall winner of each event upon conclusion of the tour will receive US$20,000 prize money and automatically qualify for the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 by wild card.
The IAAF website and our associated social media platforms will provide extensive on-site coverage from each meeting, beginning Friday (2) with a day-long 'live updates' page from Karlsruhe.
For more about the IAAF World Indoor Tour, visit the tour's dedicated mini-site.
2018 IAAF World Indoor Tour
3 Feb – Karlsruhe
6 Feb – Düsseldorf
8 Feb – Madrid
10 Feb – Boston
15 Feb – Torun
25 Feb – Glasgow